Gingivitis is a very common oral health issue, with most American adults affected at some point in life. Early gingivitis symptoms involve inflammation, but as the disease progresses to advanced periodontitis, patients may experience tooth loss, jaw bone deterioration and systemic health problems. For these reasons, patients should seek prompt care from our periodontist as soon as problems are suspected.
Early Symptoms of Gingivitis
Redness, swelling and tenderness are often the earliest gingivitis symptoms to emerge. In some cases, patients also notice bleeding when they brush or floss their teeth. Because the bacteria release foul-smelling toxins as they proliferate, patients often develop halitosis as the disease progresses.
Progression to Periodontitis
As gingivitis worsens, patients can suffer a variety of oral and systemic health problems caused by the bacteria in their mouth. The jaw bones may deteriorate, resulting in loosening and eventual loss of teeth. As the bacteria travel through the blood stream, patients may suffer from cardiovascular and other systemic health problems.
Treatment of Symptoms
The treatments used for gingivitis depend on the severity of symptoms. At first, our periodontist may recommend antimicrobial mouthwash to control bacterial populations or scaling and root planing to remove accumulated tartar and plaque from above and below the gum line. Severe periodontitis may require bone and gum grafting to restore these tissues.
Gingivitis symptoms may only involve discomfort initially, but progression of this disease can cause major health problems. Prompt care is essential to reverse symptoms and prevent complications. At a consultation with our Los Angeles periodontist, patients can learn more about the symptoms of gum disease.
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